Life always takes interesting turns. Sometimes they might not even be apparent, since it takes one small step at a time. Looking through the school-going me and college-going me, I feel that change. It is something which no one can see it, better than you. The change may be for better or worse. Fortunately in my case, it was for good.
Everyone has their own sweet memories of school right? I have my own, and I can vouch for the fact that it is different from everyone else. Without delving too much, let’s just say that I had built a cocoon of how I want others to see me. I was Clark Kent for everyone when I really could have been a Superman. But that’s how I wished for everyone around me to see. Why, you ask? How would a 10 year old know that?
And just like Clark Kent, I didn’t really have a lot of admirers. I was always said to be “too shy” and should “talk more with others” which I found annoying. Not because they were right, but for their mini hypocrisy. How often did you hear a teacher say “Please talk”? How would this obedient child know when it was the time to not have a “pin drop silence”?
In my adolescence, it not only became hard to come off that cocoon, but I started developing smaller ones in my coaching classes. Though I was learning to be more social, the habit of not lying about myself just couldn’t go. In my pre-teens sense struck me and I stopped all of it. But the traits that I developed then, has stayed with me.
So what did I gain from all this? A lot, actually. Any personality trait that you might have found good in me – part of the credits for that goes to the childhood that I had. What I lost though, is the ability to socialize with ease.
My whole point of telling you my boring childhood story is that being an introvert doesn’t make you a bad or even an average person. It is just who you are!
This is not meant to help you (if you are an introvert) feel good, but I really mean it. All it means is that you suck at talking with people in large groups, or talking to anyone in general.
The reason why this feels bad is because you know that the society norm says you should make an attempt speaking to the stranger besides you on a train or extend your hand to the new classmate sitting with you. This seemingly normal task feels like a mammoth for us. For a long time, and even today, this feeling bothers me.
This is being written to even remind me, along with you, that it is fine if you are like this. You may have tried a lot to get pass it, but it may not have worked. Again, it is fine! Because when you lack one quality, you develop some other.
There have been days when I have been to public places, surrounded by new people. And I end up not uttering a word for the whole day. Does that mean I am wasting my time? If you are finding this read interesting, trust me I am not. Introverts (at least in my case) tend to develop excellent imagination. Since in most situations, they tend to be in the imaginary world and not real. That is probably the reason why most of our scientists are introverts. Very clichéd example, yes. But it proves my point.
I am glad that I got to experience a hostel life which picked me out of my comfort zone. Among the thousands of people around me, I knew no one. But after 3 years, I came out fine.Quite fine, actually. There’s no Clark Kent here. Just the Superman (minus the superpowers and the costume, of course). I talk, like others. I joke, like others. And though I still take quite some time to blend in a group, it bothers me a lot less.
So to all those who have been through all this, I say this again : do not mistake a simple lack of quality for a huge void in you. Introverts, Extroverts, Ambiverts are just terms to study in a psychology class ( I didn’t even knew the latter existed until now). All that matters is what kind of a person you are. You will have friends who would care for you. You will find the perfect one. And you can be an interesting person irrespective of what tag you carry among the three!